Great thread, Norco-Red,
With inspiration garnered from this thread and the "Mother of all UDS threads", on my day off I finally finished my first UDS on Monday and cooked a couple of sides of ribs to christen it. I haven't figured out how to post pron, sorry, you'll have to take me at my word.
An observation: I cut down the "3-2-1" cooking time to "2-1-1", and when I took the ribs out of the foil, one side literally fell apart when I was saucing it and putting it back onto the grill. Nice clean bones fell out all over the place, leaving large chunks of juicy rib meat splattered out all over the grill. I was using a digital thermometer and keeping the temp in the mid 220's. The ribs were on the lower shelf. From now on, unless the ribs are particularly tough and actually need
time tightly wrapped in foil, I'm just going with a straight 3 to 3 1/2 hour cook time, with one flip about half way through. I'll gauge the tenderness with the pig-tail meat turner and eyeball the doneness.
I know that mileage will vary with different UDS set-ups, but it amazed me how quickly they cooked on my UDS.
On the top shelf my brother-in-law threw on a 3 pound chuckie that he had marinated in Italian dressing and then used some butt rub. I know that some have complained about getting dried-out chuck when cooked on an offset smoker, but after 2 hours and 25 minutes on Bugly (Butt Ugly DS), it was so juicy and perfect looking that we almost ate the whole thing right then and there. But, he did the right thing and waited for his wife to get home.
All of this goes to say that we all just need to learn the ins and outs of our own individual cookers, and instead of being so wrapped-up in asking everyone "how long do I leave it on the cooker", etc. The questions are only good for the first cook, and even then, it's just a general idea, and then you modify from there on subsequent cooks.
I use my brother-in-law's philosophy: just cook the meat until it's done. For ribs, it's when the meat starts climbing up the bone; with chicken, it's when the meat starts climbing up the leg-bone; for beef it's whatever degree of doneness you prefer (I like beef rare, but that's just me).
And, above all, everyone should build at least one UDS. It will change your cooking style forever. I had planned to buy or build an off-set smoker first, and then do a UDA. WRONG! I did the UDS first and discovered I just saved a bunch of money and will never need an off-set or any other kind of smoker! The UDS does it all just fine.
PS: It also uses less charcoal and wood than those other cookers.
Oh yeah, and remember to use the KISS method and don't get carried away. Simple is better!
OK so I hope I've figured out the picture thing. The tin-foil around the lip of the drum helps seal the Weber lid.